Scala Dei Priorat
Spanish Wine

Climbing the Stairway to Heaven

Scala Dei 2011 If you like your wines with a bit of muscle and intensity then Scala Dei translated from Latin to literally mean ‘Ladder to God’ is one to try. Made by Carthusian monks in the Scala Dei winery, founded in the 12th century and found in the Priorat region south-west of Tarragona Spain. I actually picked up this bottle in a small supermarket down a back street in [……]

Monte Da Casteleja Courtyard
Portuguese wine

Monte Da Casteleja Organic Vineyard

It seems like every time I book a holiday now the first thing I look for is a nearby vineyard to visit. I encourage anybody with an interest in wine to go and see how this wonderful stuff we drink is actually made, its a great way to spend a few hours. Monte Da Casteleja On a recent family holiday to the Algarve region of Portugal, we visited a small [……]

New Zealand wine

Three cheers for the King – Do me a Favour !

With the weather taking a turn for the better and temperatures scaling the dizzy heights of the high 20’s there’s nothing more satisfying than sipping a well-made chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Now I’m not a massive Sovee Bee fan (sorry that’s what my daughter calls it and I can’t help referring to it as that, sad I know!) anyway, sometimes you just have to admit that you are drinking [……]

Spanish Wine

El Muelle de Olaso – Palomino Fino 2016

If you ever visit Jerez in Spain then one Winery you must visit apart from all the excellent Sherry outlets is the Luis Perez Bodega situated just on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera. This was by far the standout highlight of our visit to the region and a place my wife and I hope to return to in the future. This is where we first tasted the sublime [……]

Misc

Celebrating my 60th with wine, what else !

I recently celebrated my 60th birthday and judging by the number of wine-related cards and bottles I got I think, perhaps some is trying to tell me something. Not that I’m complaining as I still get enormous pleasure from receiving that special bottle of fizz or that sought after Rioja and I was very grateful for the generosity of family and friends. This picture shows a small selection of some [……]

Portuguese wine

Coragem- Touriga Nacional

There’s something about Portuguese wines that get people excited and I for one can understand why. Portugal is probably more famous for its Ports and as good as they are their table wines especially from the Douro region and their national grape variety Touriga Nacional, in particular, is finding its way onto my ‘to buy’ list more often than not. Following on from my last post about the cheap and [……]

Portuguese wine

Julia Florista Tinto – Cheap as chips

Been a while since I reviewed a single bottle but I have been meaning to bring your attention to this Julia Florista Portuguese red since the first time I tasted it around two years ago. Can cheap wine be any good? when I say cheap wine I mean really cheap, cheap as in £1.99 a bottle. Is it drinkable? most definitely, does the bottle look good? yes, would I buy [……]

Australian Wine

Stone, Vine & Sun – Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Festival 2018

If you like and want to know more about wine the best way is to try as many as you can and what better way of doing it without breaking the bank is to get yourself along to an organised tasting event as this one. This time, the venue was Browns Brasserie & Bar, in Londons Covent Garden once Westminster’s County Courts which in 1996 was converted into a bar [……]

Wine Store

Cheap and Cheerful – Calais Wine Superstore & Majestic

Fancy some cheap and I mean really cheap wine? then take a trip to the Calais and hit the numerous wine outlets where you will find hundreds of bottles at sub £5 prices and some of them surprisingly, very drinkable. On average tax on wines in Britain is an astonishing eight times higher, so jump in your car, clear some space get a couple of friends to share the cost [……]

English Wine

Oatley a quintessential English vineyard

English vineyards never cease to amaze me, even when the weather is dark and gloomy there’s something special even magical about seeing rows of vines surrounded by woodland and wildlife. When you not sure what to expect but then it turns out to be better than you thought, it’s a real pleasant surprise and this is exactly what happened when our small wine group Cuvée Reserve visited Oatley a small [……]

Australian Wine

A view from Penfolds Hill

I must admit the first thing that springs to mind when seeing a bottle of Penfolds is the 1980’s cartoon series Dangermouse, a parody of British spy fiction which features the character Penfold. Not that this has anything to do with the wine, which by the way is excellent, it’s just me I smile whenever I see a bottle. This particular bottle the Koonunga Hill (Seventy-six) 2009 is a blend [……]

No Picture
Spanish Wine

The Cubist Old Vine Spanish Garnacha

Picking a wine on nothing but the name, label or bottle sometimes works, more often it doesn’t. That’s exactly what I did when buying this ‘Cubist Old Vine Garnacha’ that was made in the mountains south-west of Aragon in northeastern Spain with 100-year-old vines, hence the ‘Old Vine’ on the label. I paint a bit and Picasso happens to be one of my favourite artists, so I actually picked it [……]

Italian Wine

Maretti Langhe Rosso – A Baby Barolo

This was a pleasant surprise, well, maybe not so much of a surprise as I tend to like most Italian wine but this red The ‘Maretti Langhe Rosso’ from the Piedmont region of northern Italy definitely woke up my taste buds. A blend of Barbera 70% and Nebbiolo 30% making for an interesting blend along the lines of a baby Barolo. A fairly hefty tasting wine which I would describe [……]

Austrian Wine

Two Summer Whites to consider – Godello & Gruner Veltliner

With the weather improving and thoughts of summer barbecues ahead here are a couple of excellent white wines that generally don’t hit the headlines as much as they should.The first is an Austrian Gruner Veltliner sold in Morrisons and the other a Spanish Godello (although this particular one I bought in Spain, Godello is now widely available in most supermarkets and wine retailers). I first reviewed these wines a little [……]

South African Wine

Light, fruity and surprisingly drinkable Cinsault

Often used in blends and more often in Rosé Cinsault (pronounced Sanso or Sin Saw) is a wine I don’t drink a lot of and it’s also a  wine I shouldn’t like but I found myself drinking this quite happily. Now I’m not a big fan of lighter style wines but found this strangely appealing, more of a cross between Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. Very light in colour, almost translucent with [……]